When I started Karate at the Main Street dojo, our sole mantra was one punch, one kill. The idea being that your technique was to be so pure that you never needed more than one technique to defeat your opponent.
At the Main street dojo, we would always be encouraged to do something a bit crazier to show our dedication. We would often run around the block in our bare feet during middle of winter. Our feet would be quite swollen from the cold and it was quite a shock when our feet warmed up again.
Most often we would going back and forth across the hardwood floor. On occasion I would tear the callus off of the ball of my foot. The blood did make it easier to slide my foot across the floor. But they would generally order me off the floor and get fixed up.
I managed to strain the medial collateral ligaments of both knees. For years I couldn’t sleep on my side with my knees together.
My technique was good, but my competitions were hit and miss. I did manage to win the provincials for my division a number of times. With my left leg and left fist forward, I could easily launch myself several feet into my opponent. This usually overwhelmed them. But I did not do well in the next series of competitions of several provinces, called the Westerns.
I would launch myself at several people always stopping in time. But at this level, they never counted such a technique. I was completely stretched out and there was no indication that I was pulling my punch. You had to be close enough that you would have made contact and could have completely gone through the person had you chosen. Getting closer and closer trying to win a point just meant that I smacked into an opponent. Just lightly.
I continue my training and later that year a few of the old timer black belts got together at the main street dojo. They wanted to pull out the body armor they used to use for full contact fighting.
This was a completely new venture for me. The helmets have full face screens. The chest protectors were hard plastic. Softer material covered the shins. For hands we used the traditional bag gloves. Everyone brought their own cup, thank you very much.
For my next entry, I’ll cover off how some of that experience went.
Still standing, so it went well enough.